Medical College of Wisconsin
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Does gender moderate associations among impulsivity and health-risk behaviors? Addict Behav 2008 Feb;33(2):252-65

Date

10/05/2007

Pubmed ID

17913380

Pubmed Central ID

PMC2225595

DOI

10.1016/j.addbeh.2007.09.004

Scopus ID

2-s2.0-37049013490   96 Citations

Abstract

The present study explores the relations among gender, impulsivity and three health-risk behaviors relevant to young adults (tobacco use, alcohol problems and gambling problems) in a sample of 197 college-age individuals. We sought to determine whether impulsivity is associated with health-risk behaviors in the same ways for men and women. For tobacco use and gambling problems, men were at higher risk than women, and impulsivity was not significantly associated with higher risk. Higher levels of motor impulsivity in men accounted for a significant amount of the gender difference in risk for alcohol problems. That is, impulsivity as measured by the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale (version 11), mediated the association between gender and risk for alcohol problems. For impulsivity as measured by Stop Signal Reaction Time (i.e. response inhibition), gender moderated the association between impulsivity and alcohol problems. Specifically, lower levels of impulsivity were associated with greater risk for alcohol problems in both men and women, but the effect was stronger in men. We speculate that this seemingly paradoxical result might be the result of coping drinking to deal with negative affect associated with behavioral overcontrol. These findings suggest that prevention efforts might well focus on identifying individuals at high risk for alcohol problems, especially males, by assessing response inhibition.

Author List

Stoltenberg SF, Batien BD, Birgenheir DG

Author

Denis Birgenheir PhD Assistant Professor in the Psychiatry department at Medical College of Wisconsin




MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Adolescent
Adult
Alcoholism
Female
Gambling
Health Behavior
Humans
Impulsive Behavior
Male
Middle Aged
Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
Psychometrics
Risk Factors
Risk-Taking
Sex Factors
Tobacco Use Disorder